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  • By Lisa Brody

Birmingham receives good audit opinion

Douglas Bohrer and Timothy St. Andrew from Plante and Moran presented Birmingham's audit results at the Birmingham city commission meeting on Monday, October 28, for fiscal year 2018-2019, determining that Birmingham's financial statement was at the highest level it can be at.

Birmingham Finance Director Mark Gerber said Bohrer and St. Andrew completed the city's June 30, 2019 audit. Bohrer said, “On your financial statement, you have an unmodified opinion, which is the highest you can have.”

He said each year they look to see if there is a surprise, and they did not find any.

St. Andrew said the city's taxable value has grown at a rate of five percent in each of the last five years, and “We have not typically seen that.”

While a positive trend, he noted there is a downside, “which is with all of the taxable value growth, you've had consistent Headlee rollbacks (to the city's millage rate). That's permanent. If that continues you'll be forced to bring the actual levy down.”

He noted that the city's fund balance has been steady for four of the last five years, “which takes careful planning.”

Another positive for the city is that the retiree pension and health care funding for Birmingham is funded at 86 percent, and its other post employment benefits (OPEB) is 56 percent funded. Many other municipalities, he noted, are scrambling because they had been pay-as-you-go for retiree pension and heath care funding, and now must fund the benefits.

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